“The true worth of a nation must be measured by the empowerment of its girls”

We have created 3 programs that are unique to GCN Uganda in order to support girls to become empowered community members and citizens. These programs are run through the Girl Child Network Empowerment Club model with the end goal of supporting girls’ confidence, knowledge, and abilities to be leaders and advocates.

- Betty Makoni, Founder and CEO- Girl Child Network Worldwide -

GIRLS’ EMPOWERMENT CLUBS

Empowerment Clubs are the backbone for all our programs at GCN. Through these clubs, girls plan and implement activities that promote their own interests. Girls launch Empowerment Clubs and work with GCN staff to create a schedule based on our recommended activities for the first few months. Next, girls are free to create their own schedules, focusing on whatever knowledge interests them, from counseling to financial trainings to arts and crafts. Our impact is magnified with each new club launched!

The Digital Safety and Security Mentorship Training Project
In partnership with DefendDefenders, GCN Uganda implemented a Digital Safety and Security Mentorship training with the teachers in the schools where GCN Uganda operates. The “Digital Safety and security mentorship for adolescent girls in schools and training of club patrons” was a project with the objective of helping young girls become aware of the digital challenges and how to overcome them while also training the club patrons (teachers) to create the multiplying effect of mentoring more students and fellow teachers. The goal of this project was to ensure that girls in the school clubs are able to understand digital technology and have the ability to respond to technology incidents, but most importantly give them an overview of prevention of unwanted digital issues. We also felt that it was important to involve the school community in the digital protection process which is why we ensured that in each school that we run a club, club patrons would be trained so that they can sensitize other students they interact with plus the other school staff who can help in prevention and response of any digital safety challenges. A total of 20 school clubs with over 500 girls from the ages of 6-20 years were sensitized about basic digital safety measures tailored to their age group.

GIRLS AT RISK SUPPORT PROGRAM

The Girls At Risk Program is designed to offer relief and support services to girls who have experienced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. We provide individual and group counseling, emergency planning, and information and referral services to girls who have experienced defilement, atrocities during the war in northern Uganda, physical violence, sexual assault, and torture. Our staff is trained to support girls who have experienced abuse, as well as helping girls at risk of abuse to find safe alternatives. In situations where survivors need specialized services to secure healing and justice, we make referrals to our partners in the legal and medical field. The Girls At Risk Program currently gives hope and rehabilitation to more than 1,000 girls around the country – and counting!

Engaging Men and Boys in the Prevention of Sexual Violence Against the Girl Child
GCN’s programs are intended to empower girls with preventive tools and respond to cases of survivors of sexual violence creating an improved environment that promotes and enforces women and girls’ safety. This project focused on the preventive tools for girls, but also involved participation of boys and men in our districts of operation to appreciate the benefits of having an environment free from sexual violence. Dialogues with key duty bearers in the target districts were organized to engage on socio-cultural barriers to quality of life for girls in vulnerable settings. As boys and men see more educated girls and understand their issues, we believe they will be more likely to abandon their archaic perceptions of women as inferior and mere sexual objects with no meaningful role to play outside the home. Only as we involve boys and men will we have any chance of moving attitudes and perceptions against sexual violence. The goal of the project is to contribute to the reduction of sexual harassment in Kampala, Masaka and Wakiso and to increase girls’ feelings of safety. The project activities were conducted through the use of a customised mobile van equipped with reading materials, informational flyers/brochures, and documentaries that could be projected on the spot.

OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM

As the name suggests, this program provides girls with an opportunity to make their earning dreams a reality. GCN has partnered with several organizations, including BRAC, CARE International and Barclays Bank to develop financial management training curricula that are relevant and successful when working with vulnerable girls. At GCN, we know that financial independence is a key achievement for girls who want to access educations and brighter futures. To date, more than 300 girls have received Opportunity Program training, and many of them are running their own successful small businesses.

THE WOMEN ROLE MODELS PROGRAM (WRM)

The WRM Program combines concepts of corporate social responsibility, community service, and youth empowerment by focusing on engaging women leaders to give back to youth through the investment of intellectual and financial resources. At GCN, we understand that role models are key motivators for progress. As such, we regularly seek out successful women with motivating and instructive backgrounds to bring them to various girls clubs, where they share their experiences, offer support, and inspire and encourage ambitious girls.

Stand #UpForSchool Campaign
GCN Uganda spearheaded UpforSchool campaign, a Gordon Brown initiative to keep children in school. We collected 6,378 signatures towards the global goal of 10 million. Th global signatures were presented to UN Secretary-General in September 2015.

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©2018 Girl Child Network Uganda

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